Frequently Asked Questions
+ What is soap?
Soap is a surfactant(cleaning agent) that works by emulsifying surface oils with water and holding dirt in suspension. The emulsified fat is then easily rinsed away.
+ How is soap made?
All of our soaps are created using the cold process method, which, without getting too technical, is done by mixing a lye (sodium hydroxide) and water solution into a mixture of oils. The sodium in the lye interacts with the individual fatty acid molecules in the oil, creating soap!
+ Lye? Isn’t that bad?
On its own and before being turned into soap...Yes! Very scary stuff! But, in properly formulated soap, it disappears completely.The very composition of it is changed, and the result is good clean fun.
+ Why should I use traditional lye soap?
Why use lye soap? Because you know what’s in it! The ingredients are easily broken down after they pass through your drains, and there are no synthetic alkalis or preservatives in there. Even lye is a naturally occurring substance, though the pure stuff we use is made in a lab.
+ What’s wrong with the regular soap from the store?
What you should really be looking at are the ingredients lists on the backs of your boxes and bottles. A lot of commercial products contain ingredients derived from petroleum (eg: petroleum jelly (aka petrolatum)) Although these ingredients may create a barrier, they offer no inert beneficial qualities for your skin. That’s important since your skin absorbs 80% of what it comes in contact with. Another one to be aware of is sodium lauryl (or eth) sulfate, aka SLS. It’s a foaming surfactant, and it’s found in just about everything from toothpaste (even in certain well-known natural toothpastes!) to baby shampoo. It’s already a known and accepted irritant, found to penetrate skin and organs, cause children’s eyes to develop improperly and cause adult eyes to develop cataracts, but the "powers that be" are still debating whether or not 1,4-dioxane (something contained in SLS), is carcinogenic. The American Cancer Society denies the danger, the EPA considers it to be a probable carcinogen, and the FDA wants it gone completely. Well, the debate alone is enough for us to be concerned. Besides the base ingredients, many of the synthetic dyes used in the industry are problematc. Many of people are allergic to them, and one is even being linked to autism. So please, pay attention to the labels, and if you don’t recognize something in the ingredients list, do your research before deciding to put it on your skin!
+ Why use goat’s milk in soap?
Many of our products contain goat's milk. Goat milk can do great things for the texture of soap lather. It contains every amino acid known to man, is jam packed with vitamins, and the lactic acid in there is great for loosening dead skin cells in leave-on products. Goat’s milk is closer to human milk than any other milk, which is why so many moms swear by it as a drinking milk for their kids, and why so many soapers choose it over cow’s milk. (People are less likely to be allergic to it than to cow's milk!) Plus, it gives us a great excuse to keep some of the most adorable animals on the planet!
+ Do you make lye-free soap?
No. There is absolutely no such thing as soap made without lye. Anyone who tells you different is either lying, confused, or leaving out the explanation about the transformation of lye and oils into saponified oil. Even melt and pour soap is made with lye--it just happens to be added well before it gets to the hands of the artist.
+ What does curing mean, and why is it important?
Curing is just letting the cut soap sit out in the air for a period of four to six weeks. During this time, the lye and fat reaction continues a little bit, but mostly curing is important to let the soap dry. As the water evaporates, the soap becomes hard, and this adds a great deal to its longevity in use.
+ Will cold process soap melt in the mail on a crazy hot day?
No. You're thinking of melt and pour!
+ How long will my soap last?
As far as shelf life goes, a bar will usually last about a year or two before the fragrance fades and the oils spoil. It's still usable soap, it just won't smell as pretty. Some fragrances fade quicker than others, like citrus oils and lavender.
+ How long will my lotion, or other bath and body product last?
I have included an expiration date on the label of my products based on the ingredient with the shortest expected life. Although this is a ‘best if used by date’, circumstances after purchase can affect this to make it longer or shorter. To prolong the benefits of your products, it is best to keep them out of direct sunlight and heat.
+ Where should I keep my soap before using it?
Any dry, cool, well ventilated spot out of direct sunlight will work. So, don't keep it in your bathroom, even if that's where you'll be using it eventually. The humidity will melt the glycerin, which will then evaporate, and we don't want that. Also, you want as few germs to settle on it as possible.
+ Will handmade soap sting if it gets in my eyes?
Yes. It's soap! Our advice is to keep your eyes closed when washing your face. If you do happen to splash some in your eye, wash it out with plain water, and that should do the trick. 99% of the time, any temporary damage that occurs from getting cosmetics in the eye comes from all the rubbing and poking we do, not the cosmetics themselves. Soap is for external use only.
+ Are your products 100% natural?
While we strongly believe in natural products, we don't think preservatives are a place to mess around. Preservatives prevent decomposition by microbial growth or by undesirable chemical changes, and they keep you safe when using our products. We only use gentle yet effective preservatives in our formulations and only when a preservative is necessary, which is when a water based ingredient is included in the final formulation (such as aloe vera, goats milk, hydrosols, and of course, distilled water) or may be introduced to the product by the user. Where there is water, there is life…and that includes bacteria, mold, yeast, and fungi, therefore, a broad spectrum preservative is absolutely necessary to prevent the growth of these nasty bugs. However, all our products are at a minimum 97% natural!
+ What about ‘natural preservatives’?
Honeysuckle Extract, Vitamin E, Rosemary Oleoresin (ROE), and Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) are often boasted to be’ natural preservatives’. While some handmade bath & body companies use them as such, we are not one of those companies. These natural ingredients have their own benefits (and they are lovely ones!), however, they only serve as very powerful antioxidants - not preservatives. They are reported to prevent oil rancidity, but there is absolutely no scientific evidence they will prevent bacteria, mold, yeast, or fungi. Your health and safety are too important to take a chance on, and we'd rather play it safe than sorry when it comes to using preservatives.
+ Why are there so many scientific words listed on the product label when they aren't listed that way on the website?
On our website, we have listed the ingredients by a common, English term. We are required by law to list ingredients on our label in the International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. The INCI term is an attempt to standardize terms for ingredients amongst different cultures and languages internationally.